It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year, as the old song says. But, what if it isn’t?
Holidays and the cold winter months can be overwhelming for many. Feelings of loneliness and isolation can negatively affect physical and emotional health. Add in the grief of a loss, whether it was the death of a loved one, the loss of a job, a relationship, or another major change, and you may begin to feel very overcome with emotion.
Accepting that life is no longer the way it once was is perfectly fine, and learning to manage in other ways becomes a priority. One way to cope is to talk about your deceased loved one or other loss, and the good memories of holidays past. Choose traditions you may want to keep and traditions you may want to stop. It is not always necessary to continue doing things the same way just because that is how they have always been done. Mix it up a little; if you want. There are several different things happening in Lincoln during the holiday season. Keep an eye (or ear) on local media for upcoming events and happenings. It is especially important to help loved ones who may be isolated to enjoy traditional activities and remain involved in holiday events. Even a quick “holiday lights” tour, getting out of the house and enjoying the beauty of the season is a great idea. Remember that it is okay to still have fun at the holidays with family, even if you recently lost a loved one.
As caregivers, friends, family, and neighbors, it is very important to ensure that those who are grieving are not isolated or lonely during the winter months. It becomes so easy to isolate ourselves at home when it is cold, damp and dark out. We need to be aware of this happening with our senior loved ones, and implement plans to ensure they are well cared for. We can do this by setting aside time each day to check on them whether in person or over the phone, and to have others available to assist in that process. We need to be sure to include our loved ones in holiday plans, from taking them shopping to inviting them to attend programs and other events.
It is important any time you feel you are struggling to seek help – but even more so during the holidays. If you are facing a dark, difficult holiday season, please reach out for help, from friends, neighbors, loved ones, and even to us here at Roper & Sons. You are loved, you will come through the dark days, and you will find joy again.